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Volunteer Advocate

What We’re Funding

Cystic Fibrosis Canada funds research projects with the greatest potential to advance our understanding and treatment of cystic fibrosis and improve the quality of life for CF patients. Our research programs focus on eight fundamental areas, in addition to targeted programs and partnerships, and training awards. Learn more about our research programs, including detailed summaries of each project currently being funded here

Hover on the graph below to read about the impact of our research programs:

Research Programs Total $5,128,800
Current Therapies

Why it matters?

There are numerous interventions currently available to people with CF. Current therapies research invests in these interventions and examines ways to improve them. It may involve investigating why some patients respond better than others to specific drugs, or examining ways to minimize drug side-effects.

Modifier genes

Why it matters?

The CFTR gene is not the only gene that matters in CF. Modifier genes are genes that influence the expression of another gene. For example, a person might have one gene that determines their hair colour (red), but another gene that affects the shade of that colour (lighter or darker red). Modifier genes can play a significant role in determining the severity of CF, so developing a better understanding of modifier genes can help researchers and clinicians to predict the severity of a person’s symptoms, and may be useful over the long-run in personalizing medicine.

Research training awards

Why it matters?

Canada is a leading country in CF research and clinical care. Cystic Fibrosis Canada awards funding to recent medical school and doctoral graduates, as well as to masters and doctoral students, who are pursuing research in CF. The aim is to attract and retain promising researchers in the field, paving the way for future advances.

Gene and cell therapy research

Why it matters?

CF is caused by mutation of the CFTR gene. Gene therapy research aims to fix the CFTR gene that is responsible for CF, thereby solving the root cause of the disease.

Inflammation research

Why it matters?

People with CF have chronic infections in their lungs, as well as lung infection flare-ups, which increase inflammation. Lung inflammation damages lung tissue and leads to degeneration over time, and can result in the need for a lung transplant. Inflammation research studies the body’s inflammatory response, and investigates ways to reduce lung inflammation in people with CF, improving lung health.

CFTR protein research

Why it matters?

In people with CF, the CFTR gene, which is responsible for CF, makes CFTR proteins that are defective. Normally, these proteins function as chloride channels in cells, allowing chloride ions to move in and out. When these proteins do not work properly, it causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and other parts of the body, making it difficult to breathe and digest food. CFTR protein research involves studying the structure and function of CFTR proteins with the aim of restoring their function, so that chloride ions will be able to move freely in and out of the cell, preventing the build-up of thick, sticky mucus.

Quality of life research

Why it matters?

Cystic Fibrosis Canada is focused on finding a cure or control for CF, but we also support research aimed at improving the lives of people living with CF today.  CF is a degenerative condition that can be difficult and time consuming to manage, negatively impacting a person’s health-related quality of life. Quality of life research investigates ways to help people with CF live more comfortably, with higher overall levels of health and wellbeing.

Cell membrane channel research

Why it matters?

Cell membrane channel research looks at the CFTR protein as well as other membrane channels to potentially target them instead of CFTR to partially address the underlying defect in CF, instead of merely treating symptoms of the disease. Targeting cell membrane channels is an exciting approach because it would benefit all people with CF, regardless of type of genetic mutation.

Targeted research programs and partnerships

Why it matters?

Working with others in the CF community to advance knowledge and treatment by matching funds with partner organizations and institutes, and assembling teams of CF experts to lead novel research programs moves the field forward.

Infection research

Why it matters?

People with CF have chronic lung infections that flare up from time to time, causing lung tissue damage, which is a leading cause of illness and death in people with CF. Research in infections helps scientists to understand how bacteria and mold in the lungs work and develop better treatments.

For information about our investments in research and care read our highlights on: